Beam me up, Scotty

Hello again, hope you are all having a great week so far. I have to say I am pretty pleased with this whole “I thought I was going somewhere this week, but I ended up creating something slightly different” dynamic that seems to be happening more often that not. It makes it all feel more like an organic creative process.

I had a couple designs in mind for today, but the first one led to the creation of a brand new mechanic. In turns I saw the opportunity to bend my second design to showcase that mechanic some more. Today I am introducing to you the Izzet ability Teleport.

Bringer of Storm and FireBringer of Storm and Fire. Not that excited with the name but it’s ok. This one is an attempt to fix Shrieking Mogg which was pretty dysfunctional.
Introducing Teleport, an ability that will possibly be controversial as really it is an alternate casting cost with flash – as all abilities by default, but I opted to mention it in the reminder text.
Myself, I think it is good to have fundamentally trivial abilities with a keyword, as they offer a template for slightly more complex effects. See Monstrous and Renown.
Bringer works many ways. With open mana defensively or at the end of an opponent’s turn, during your turn, before or after attacking.

Kahu CommandoKahu Commando.

That one I had in mind for a while but I decided to bend slightly to make use of Teleport.
You can now use it as a 2/1 with Force Spike and some upside for 2UR! The new version is quite wordy but I think it gets there – maybe barely.

From this design you could go many ways. Do we want the Disrupters to counter only noncreature spells? Mane the cost to pay 2? Create the tokens every time you cast a spell?
Many ways to adapt this design but regardless I really like the idea of the disrupter tokens.

DisrupterBefore we finish, here is one of those pretty disrupter tokens. It might help you wrap your mind around the design.

And that wraps it up for the day! Like I said I think Teleport opens a great space for designs of cards you could cast at either sorcery or instant speed for different effects. I do believe red isn’t an ideal space for flash effects, but Izzet is.
I would love for it to be extended to all colors, much like Evoke, but keeping a creature you casted at instant speed doesn’t feel right across the board. If you guys have any idea what to do about that, do let me know!

Either way it is now time for me to wish you a great week, and I’ll be talking to you again next time! Have a good one.


Back to Business

What’s up everybody! Now that we are out of the 100th article craziness and I have picked the winners and distributed the prizes, we can be back to the good old weekly designs routine.

My plan for today was to create two aura cards but I was having a hard time finishing the second one when I ran into an amazing illustration that I had to make a card for. As a consequence, we have a miscellaneous mix this week.

Gruesome SentenceFirst card is Gruesome Sentence.

I hope flavor talk for itself here. Thanks to this fairly cheap spell, you can either prevent an enemy creature from attacking or turn one of your own into a deadly wall.

If you use this aura on an opponent’s creature, admittedly it still gets deathtouch but it’s the price to pay for modularity. On a big one though it pretty much just says “can’t attack”.

I hope you like the flavor of turning someone into a scarecrow, I sure do myself!

Keeper of GalesKeeper of Gales is an illustration I just had to make into a card.

Hope you can see that he has a dragon on a leash which is totally badass, and called for an adaptation of Old Man of the Sea.

This ability is incredibly narrow though, so I needed to make him do something else. I opted for fairly good French Vanilla stats, for simplicity’s sake.

Haste will go pretty well with his first ability, but my dream was for once to make a card that could be played in cube and I don’t think I quite got there…

It is good to be back! I have quite a few designs sitting in my vault so the next few weeks should come nice and easy. I was very happy giving away prices to the participants of my contest so one last time thank you all for participating. I will be seeing you again next week for more adventures.

Have a good one!

Card Design Contest 101

Hey everybody! I am extremely pleased with how popular last week’s contest has been. I had a lot of work evaluating, commenting and electing the top designs. You can check out most of them here on reddit, please do have a look. As you are about to see, I also decided to create cards for the ones that have been given to me in text form, which also took me a while to prepare this article.

I am going to introduce a slew of those great designs made by you, and announce the winners plus some additional showcased designs. Let’s start with the later, shall we?

A Hundred Voices ScreamingA Hundred Voices Screaming. Because of its great flavor and interesting design space, I had to mention this one.

The sole purpose of this sorcery is to create victims and execute them right away. Making very easy and abundant something that shouldn’t matter in most cases is something very dangerous, as there is always a way to make it actually matter.

That being said, I figure that if you pay three black mana and a card at sorcery speed, you should be able to get rewarded with 5 death triggers. It doesn’t seem unfair to me.

12072700_10204045805860187_5360212146908646706_n One-Hundred Serpent Snare.

I wanted to feature this card as well, even though it didn’t make it to the shortest of lists.

This enchantment is a straight forward token maker with an incremental twist as it happens sometimes, like with Assemble the Legion and Endless Ranks of the Dead.

This time though I ran the numbers and without interruption you will get 2, 6, 14, 30, 62, and finally 126 snakes. That is a lot more than the legion and is scary to say the least.

Let’s move on to the top 5, shall we? It’s been quite hard putting them all in order, and I mostly wanted to feature a dozen on here, but I don’t have that sort of time on my hands and I promised prizes! So here we go:

Prism of the FinaleNumber 5: Prism of the Finale by cj_the_magic_man on reddit.

Our theme being “one hundred”, several designs came up with a 100-themed condition on a “win the game” spell. Prism is one of the most straight forward ones, which… Is quite telling, but I think the topic caused that.
Ultimately I think you cant have players count things and do math up to a 100 any time they want to know about casting their spell, regardless of what they are counting. The idea is still pretty neat and it almost feel like the sort of nonsense that goes around in commander games.

Hundred Shields of AkrosNumber 4: Hundred Shields of Akros by CoolDude678.
Fun little card, though I’ll admit I have been judging it with the mental filter of changing quite a few little things to it.

The flavor is real, and this instant should make you think of Hundred-Handed One, which makes me wonder why we didn’t pick the exact same number of blocks here; I don’t think tracking the number of targets in a turn is viable. I do think as well that the cost should be revised to be playable and Split Second feels tacked on, but I judged based on the spirit of the card, which I liked a bunch.

One Hundred CutsNumber 3: One Hundred Cuts.
Another great flavor hit by mooseattack. A design possibly very fun to play, except perhaps for one fact: I am afraid it would be hard to balance such a powerful effect, capable to do dealing a whole lot of damage to all your enemies every turn, as well as upon activation.
Most times I try to not judge based on balance anyways, as the design can often live regardless of tweaks to its power.
I am quite fond of the card but I think I might have been drawn to “100 theme mechanics” more than I expected, hence the following cards made it higher on the list. Good job though.

12143116_10207571737512578_8570523791881707701_nNumber 2: Pinnacle of Faith by Kevin.
I have seen many “get to a hundred counters and you win” designs recently, and this one I think is my favorite.
A throwback to Helix Pinnacle, which should tell us that this card is not overpowered. I do believe that if your opponent can’t help tapping that many permanents by the end of the game, you could likely make your own 100 mana instead. This could end up being extremely annoying for token and combo strategies though, or in multiplayer.
The biggest risk I’m seeing with Pinnacle is that if the mechanic isn’t actually balanced in the end, I don’t think we can easily tweak it.

Kings ReiforcementsNumber 1: King’s Reinforcments by PhoenixBurning.
Do forgive me for the typo on the title, at the time of posting I can’t remake the card…
I will start by saying we need to make sure this card can’t be cast for free, otherwise it can’t exist.

Other than that, a card making a single token a turn by cleverly using the Suspend mechanic, and also featuring a “10 turns later you win the game” seems great to me, especially since this way of winning the game isn’t the most powerful there is, at it is affected by summoning sickness and countered by mass removal or mass bounce.

Congratulations to the winners of this contest! I will contact you soon. Also thank you all so very much for submitting designs. I have had an amazing time reviewing about 30 of them, most of which were creative, fun and flavorful. Sorry if you didn’t make the short list, I had to keep it somewhat short and yet this article features 7 cards!

One last time thank you all for your attention and participation, I am looking forward to our next hundred articles with you. Have an amazing week.

One Hundred

We are finally there! I have been mentioning it regularly for the past couple weeks and this time it is really happening. You are witnessing the hundredth article on this website, the first three digit entry in this series already over two years old.

I listen to a few podcasts and it’s always amazing to hear about episode two, three or four hundred. It gives a sense of longevity and achievement that I do feel today. I have never tried and market this blog for a wide audience, I don’t know the ropes and I don’t know for a fact that I would have the patience, but I am pretty content with improvements in the quality of my work over the years. There is still a lot of room for growth and that will come as long as I keep having fun making those cards.

I will now offer you a couple more for your weekly dose, and then move on to some bonus announcements. We are doing Eldrazi creatures today!

Brood HarvesterFirst is Brood Harvester.
It dawned on me pretty quickly that Eldrazi Scions could easily be made to create mana of any color, sort of similarly to how Manaweft Sliver brings the colorful fun to Slivers.

I do think extending mana-making to non colorless is fine, the same way Eldrazi spawns now have all colors in their cost.
As far as balance I think it’s a pretty low power one. Less powerful than Beastcaller Savant, I made sure it didn’t have to tap for its effect. I don’t think it is abusable as is, but I could be horribly wrong. You tell me!

Twilight ReaperTwillight Reaper is a fairly obvious cousin to the great Oblivion Sower except this one is going to steal creatures from your opponent, something I was very surprised Eldrazi from Battle for Zendikar didn’t do already.

I did want the reaper to be less powerful though, hence you can see that I turned down just about every possible knob on his design – even more so than I had to just because creatures are better to get than lands. Possibly a little too much?

Developing for constructed is scary and hard, and all I wanted was a playable rare in limited.

Hope you enjoyed those devoid creatures.
Now for the special entry: I am throwing a contest for this 100th post! The topic is cards with 100/Hundred(s) in the title OR in the rules. I don’t want too many forced designs mechanics so I’m completely open to flavor matches as well.

I’ll be posting soon on reddit/r/custommagic and a private magic designers group I am part of on facebook, and I will discuss the winners next week! There will be many steam keys available for the winners, including a bunch of Indie games like Super Meat Boy, Braids, Dear Esther, Gone Home, Thomas Was Alone and more.

That will do it for today. Once again thanks for reading, I hope you have a great time checking out my new designs every week. Here’s to a hundred more, I hope to give you a lot of cool news in the future as well, but for now I’m wishing you a great week! Have a good one.